PHNOM PENH May 27 At least 23 workers were hurt
in Cambodia on Monday when police using stun batons moved in to
end a protest over pay at a factory that makes clothing for U.S.
sportswear company Nike , a worker and a trade union
Police with riot gear were deployed to move about 3,000
mostly female workers who had blocked a road outside their
factory owned by Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing in
Kampong Speu province, west of the capital, Phnom Penh.
Sun Vanny, president of the Free Trade Union (FTU) at
Sabrina, told Reuters the injured included a woman who was two
months pregnant and who had lost her child after military police
pushed her to the ground.
"There was a pregnant woman among them. She lost blood and
then she lost the baby," he said.
According to the International Monetary Fund, garments
accounted for 75 pct of Cambodia's total exports of $5.22
billion in 2011.
Low-cost labour has attracted manufacturers making clothes
and shoes for Western brands but strikes over pay and working
conditions have become common.
This month, two workers were killed at a factory making
running shoes for Asics when part of a warehouse fell
in on them. Police revised down the original death toll of three
given by a minister.
A series of deadly incidents at factories in Bangladesh,
including the collapse of a building last month that killed more
than 1,000 people, has focused global attention on safety in
factories in Asia makes goods for Western companies.
Sun Vanny said the workers making the Nike clothing had been
staging strikes and protests since May 21. They want the
company, which employs more than 5,000 people at the plant, to
give them $14 a month to help pay for transport, rent and
healthcare costs on top of their $74 minimum wage.
"Police used an electric baton to hit me on the head and if
other workers hadn't pulled me away, I would be dead," Leng
Pros, a 28-year-old male worker, told Reuters from his hospital
bed. "I didn't know what happened next, I fell to the ground."
Police and military police officials declined to comment on
the clash, saying they were still collecting reports. No
immediate comment was available from Nike Inc.
(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Additional reporting by Amy
Sawitta Lefevre in Bangkok; Editing by Alan Raybould and Robert